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Navigating CHamoru Poetry: Indigeneity, Aesthetics, and Decolonization

Navigating CHamoru Poetry: Indigeneity, Aesthetics, and Decolonization

Navigating CHamoru Poetry focuses on Indigenous CHamoru (Chamorro) poetry from the Pacific Island of Guåhan (Guam).

Poet and scholar Craig Santos Perez brings critical attention to a diverse and intergenerational collection of CHamoru poetry and scholarship. Throughout this book, Perez develops an Indigenous literary methodology called “wayreading” to navigate the complex relationship between CHamoru poetry, cultural identity, decolonial politics, diasporic migrations, and Native aesthetics. Perez argues that contemporary CHamoru poetry articulates new and innovative forms of indigeneity rooted in CHamoru customary arts and values, while also routed through the profound and traumatic histories of missionization, colonialism, militarism, and ecological imperialism.

This book shows that CHamoru poetry has been an inspiring and empowering act of protest, resistance, and testimony in the decolonization, demilitarization, and environmental justice movements of Guåhan. Perez roots his intersectional cultural and literary analyses within the fields of CHamoru studies, Pacific Islands studies, Native American studies, and decolonial studies, using his research to assert that new CHamoru literature has been—and continues to be—a crucial vessel for expressing the continuities and resilience of CHamoru identities.

This book is a vital contribution that introduces local, national, and international readers and scholars to contemporary CHamoru poetry and poetics.

Book Details

Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Publish Date: January 25, 2022
ISBN: 9780816535507
Language: English

About the Author

Craig Santos Perez is an indigenous Chamoru from the Pacific Island of Guåhan (Guam). He is the coeditor of six anthologies; the author of poetry collections including Habitat Threshold and his ongoing from unincorporated territory series; and the author of the monograph, Navigating Chamoru Poetry: Indigeneity, Aesthetics, and Decolonization. He is professor in the English department at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa. Perez has received the National Book Award for Poetry, American Book Award, Pen Center USA/Poetry Society of America Literary Prize, Hawaiʻi Literary Arts Council Award, Nautilus Book Award, and the George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature from the Associated Writing Programs.

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